Charlotte is passionate about education and enjoys a wide and varied practice covering the full spectrum of education law and related regulatory law. She is regularly instructed on behalf of parents, young people, students, schools, academies, HE providers, local authorities, universities and Early Years and Child Care providers/practitioners.
Her work includes:
- SEND appeals (including National Trial cases)
- Discrimination (including disability discrimination) claims in the FTT and County Court
- Judicial review, including decisions relating to SEN provision under EHC Plans, education otherwise than at school, continuing healthcare assessments, social care assessments, unlawful exclusions
- Governance issues in academies and free schools
- School/parent relationships, including parent bans, internal complaints, protection from harassment
- Admissions (lawfulness of admissions arrangements, compatibility of admissions arrangements with the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act)
- Exclusion appeals
- Legal action in respect of Ofsted and CQC reports (schools, care providers)
- Appeals against cancellation of registration by Ofsted (Early Years and Child Care providers)
- Contractual and tortious claims against education providers
- Safeguarding, DBA (formerly CRB) issues
- Internal academic appeals and fitness to practice hearings
- NCTL proceedings (see also Charlotte’s Public and Regulatory profile)
- Disputes relating to school
Charlotte regularly provides training on education law to a variety of different audiences, including LEAs, solicitors, university student advisors, lay panel members and parents.
- DJ, R (on the application of) v Welsh Ministers & Anor  WLR (D) 646
- DS, R(on the application of) v Wolverhampton City Council  ELR 630
- SN v Nottinghamshire County Council  UKUT 002 (AAC)
- Oxfordshire County Council v JL (2010) EWHC 798 (Admin)
Mental Capacity/Court of Protection
Charlotte accepts instructions to appear in the Court of Protection and is well versed in Court of Protection practice and procedure. She is experienced in anticipating and addressing points about capacity that may arise in education, health and care proceedings outside of the Court of Protection, e.g. in relation to young persons in appeals before SENDIST.
Well known for her handling of SEN cases. She often acts for her clients in SEND tribunals at the First-tier and Upper levels, and is also regularly instructed to appear in judicial reviews. Her varied client list includes schools and academies, local authorities, parents and children.
Strengths: "She really fights her client's corner and delivers very comprehensive legal arguments." "She has a very broad knowledge base - there isn't an area of education law that she isn't an expert on."
Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2021/Education London Bar - Band 3
Strengths: "She's able to grasp a case very quickly and is extremely good in conversation with clients." "She is an exceptional barrister in the area of SEN law. Her expertise means that she is able to secure positive outcomes for young people and their families which change their lives for the better. She is also an excellent advocate."
Recent work: Instructed in R (ota DJ and BW) v The Welsh Ministers, Career Wales and Cardiff City Council, an application for a judicial review of the Ministers' refusal to carry out an assessment of DJ's education needs.
Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2020/Education - Band 4
‘Her vast knowledge of education law is invaluable. She is excellent in tribunal appeals, thinking quickly on her feet and her advices are really detailed.’
Legal 500 2021/Leading Individual – Education
'A go-to barrister in the area of education law.’
Legal 500 2020/Leading Individual – Education
‘A well respected counsel.’
Legal 500 2018/19/Leading Individual – Education
‘A diplomatic advocate with great interpersonal skills.’
Legal 500 2017/Leading Individual – Education
- LLB (Hons)
- LLM, London School of Economics
Professional qualifications & appointments
- Accredited Mediation Advocate
Charlotte Hadfield is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.More Information